Concurrently with the dome assembly, I am cobbling together the potential contents.
Initially, I intend to install my HEQ5+250mm f/4.8 Newtonian on a tripod.
Have tested mount operations successfully indoors with indilib on a RaspberryPi, remotely connected to KStars.
I think indilib (http://www.indilib.org) is brilliant from many points of view.
Also working remotely with RPi/indlib are:
- Xagyl filter wheel,
- Atik CCDs (314E, 460EX),
- DIY focuser drive,
- GPS module (USB connected).
The electric focuser drive uses one of those ubiquitous steppers, controlled by an Arduino nano. This is bolted and belt-connected to a Crayford focuser.
Works well but is an ugly piece of engineering :embarassed: . Think I'll try to make a better package.
All of that is ready to go if I can just get the dome installed without neglecting too much the remaining work on the house :grin: .
I also have some morale-raising works-in-progress:
- Have bread-boarded an indiduini meteostation; and am really pleased with the result. I have now to design a robust and rainproof container
- Have ordered the bits for an all-sky camera (RPi NOIR); following the helpful examples set by several SGL members.
- Have designed and prototyped automation for the dome. This integrates with KStars/INDI and comprises separate Arduino processors with DC motors for dome rotation and shutter control. The shutter-controller is wirelessly (RF24) linked to the indilib, dome driver. Pleasingly it all works on a test-bed. The challenge I now face is to mount it robustly and (fingers-crossed) aesthetically in the (as yet not assembled) dome. I feel I will be paying for the sheet-metal work. :rolleyes:
- Have designed a pier for my EQ8 mount. Again, to resist corrosion, this has to be of marine-grade (316) stainless-steel. While I intend to weld the thing together I feel it wise to have the bits laser-cut. I am however unsure about where I can get the material.
This forum, in particular, has given me the inspiration and the nerve to attempt this project. I admire what people have done and am very grateful that they are willing, so generously, to share their experiences.